Autodesk has recorded a healthy fourth quarter profit of $29.3m (£18.4m), but its UK resellers still face an uncertain future after meeting the vendor last week to discuss its direct web strategy.
Autodesk UK met at least 23 System Centre partners and a handful of smaller authorised resellers in an event hosted by its largest distributor, Datech 2000.
The vendor used the meeting to detail its web strategy, which has expanded recently in the US to include more than just retail products. It also held a question and answer session, according to resellers who attended the briefing.
One reseller, who asked not to be named, said the meeting was "ultimately disappointing" because Autodesk had confirmed that it wanted to push more products direct to users through its web store.
He said Autodesk was caught up in the "euphoria of the web" and is probably only going direct to pacify its shareholders. "The worry is the channel will take its eye off the ball and look at other ways to make money," he said.
"It wants a foot in both camps [direct and indirect sales] and its motto seems to be that we are one team, but only as long as we play with its ball. It is difficult to have much confidence in Autodesk as its future strategy changes every three weeks."
Another reseller, who did not attend the meeting, claimed that Autodesk wanted to "eliminate at least 50 per cent of its current UK channel partners by June". Autodesk has about 150 authorised resellers in the UK.
He said he would be surprised if Europe, the Middle East and Africa had faired as well as other areas of Autodesk in its fourth quarter figures, which beat most analysts' expectations. Regional breakdowns for the company's financial results were not available.
Autodesk declined to comment.
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